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Chamonix from Annecy by bus in one day

I can get a bus that gets me into Chamonix at 11 with a return at 3. That leaves roughly 3 hours to go up to the Aguille and back. Does anyone know what the crowd situation at the cable car up the mountains i now? Can get up and back in less than 3 hours? Don't want to get stranded in Chamonix as we have to check out of the Annecy apartment at 10 on Friday.

Anyone on the ground in Chamonix now -- or who has done this? Looking at Blah blah bus round trip.

Posted by
3810 posts

That's not quite enough time, sorry. You'll be looking at the clock all day.
The bus is faster than the train, but train connections have improved. It now takes about 2.5 hours; on a random weekday in 2 weeks I see an option that gets you there at 10.11 AM, and there are return options as late as 6.30 PM or so. So perhaps look into that as well?

Posted by
6612 posts

Two weeks from now I will be in Paris not Annecy alas.

I know I will be looking at the clock -- the question is if it is possible or will I get stranded in Chamonix which would be bad

Posted by
3109 posts

Could you buy a one way ticket to go by bus arriving at 11 and back by a later train tomorrow?

Posted by
7186 posts

If you have not gone before go for it weather permitting.

Take the train back if you feel like you are going to miss the bus.
Looking at the number of available times already reserved to go up there is still a lot of space left for Thursday before 11am

There are 55 places left at 11:25 and 11:45.

Chamonix is pretty small short walk to and from both train and bus stations.

Posted by
3810 posts

When I said "two weeks from now", it was just to pick a random date; I assume that trains are running the same way tomorrow!

Posted by
66 posts

You may want to check Flixbus as well. I know they had been running a reduced schedule in that area, but depending on what day you’re traveling, it might give you more options.

Posted by
1777 posts

hey hey janet
don't know about the bus but read that you sitting on lanai enjoying the beauty of annecy. so happy for you.
we really liked it all
live the "everyday life about lyonnaisse people" LOL
always read that in different forums and wonder like you "why?'" my thought was will they drop what they are doing to show you their everyday life. they are working, shopping, what's for dinner, get the kids, doing laundry which i'm sure i'm not planning to do on vacation, dawdling and stopping to see something interesting, spending more time dilly dallying at a cafe people watching.
hope all is going good with your niece or grand daughter cruising around france. enjoy

Posted by
6612 posts

We decided to go for it with the backup plan of taking the miserable 4 hour train with connection back if we miss the bus. we have to be in ANnecy tonight because we are in an apartment we have to vacate at 10 am tomorrow -- wish we had thought to do this Wednesday when weather was perfect and we had more cushion -- but here we are.

We may never have the chance again so off we go. If the bus is late, we hope our tickets will get us a later gondola. We will see.

Crazy but still crazy after all these years.

Posted by
6612 posts

So reporting back -- it could not have gone better. Yes it would be better to have a couple of day -- to be able to go up to the glacier, to walk down from the midpoint on the Agulle du Midi trip etc. BUT it went perfectly and since it might be our only chance we took it. My husband is visually impaired and that is likely to get much worse ere long so we are doing things now while we can.

Booked BlaBlaBus -- which I had my doubts about, but it was a comfortable ride both ways. And the driver took us through a car wash on the way down. Only issue was that the return bus was not painted BlaBla colors nor did it have so much as a handwritten placard in the front window to indicate it was bus # whatever BlaBlaCar. We came close to missing the ride home. because it wasn't a BlaBla and there were many other buses. We asked the driver and so made the bus.

Took 9:30 bus from Annecy, got there about 11:10 and the Aquille du Midi station is nearby. Not crowded, no significant lines -- our 'car' to the top was combined with another since there were so few reservations -- There were probably 25 of 30 with the combined cabins.

Clear gorgeous day; it was not even that cold on top and so our not very warm improvised outfits were fine. Just so beautiful. WE climbed to many but not all the viewpoints, went out in the clear box which involved a wait of maybe 5 minutes -- the person managing it takes your picture with your camera or phone since they don't allow backpacks or photo gear in the box. Everyone wears big felt slippers over their shoes to protect the transparent floor.

After a goodly time drinking in the stunning clear view -- watching hikers and skiers etc and wishing we were among the few taking the further gondolas on to Italy -- if we every come back, we are definitely doing that -- we headed back down to the first level where there is a bar, picnic tables etc. Got hot sausage sandwiches and drinks and enjoyed just sitting there in that beautiful place -- caught the 2:15 gondola back down and hung around a cafe until bus time.

Could not have gone better -- no real crowds, no rush and stunning weather --

Posted by
3810 posts

Awesome! Glad it went well for you and thanks for reporting back :-)

Posted by
7593 posts

So glad you went for it and it worked out so well ! (And that you were able to overcome Bla Bla's lack of signage for the return !)

Posted by
1759 posts

Hi Janet,
Happy to hear that everything went well with your trip to Chamonix! Sounds like a perfect day!